Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Birds on the Sand Flats

All these photos were taken earlier this week on a perfect morning down along the bay at Cooloola Cove. It was early in the morning and the tide was well out but slowly coming in.

At first the only birds that I saw were some pelicans way out where there was still some water.

The gradient is so low in the bay that it doesn't take too long for water to slowly seep in on the incoming tide. As it did there were more birds to see - but all a good distance away. There is no chance of getting close-up photos of birds out on the sand flats. Birds see you long before you see them! I heard Grey-tailed Tattlers and when I followed the sound I saw these two birds hunting for food in a puddle of water.

I saw and heard more Tattlers than any other bird that morning. Many of the other shorebirds have already left on their northern migration.

The next bird that I saw was a Double-banded Plover. These birds breed on the braided river channels in south New Zealand and come here for our winter. Of course the Queensland winter is a lot warmer than winter in south New Zealand.I saw quite a number of these birds a good distance away.

There were lots more birds further away which it was difficult to ID. I saw a few Bar-tailed Godwits but most Godwits have already left. I heard an Eastern Curlew but it was too far away to see properly. Most of the birds I saw were smaller shorebirds. Of course there were numbers of Red-capped Plovers (local shorebirds). When I looked at my photos at home I saw a couple of Lesser Sand Plovers with the red splash of color across their front which is their breeding plumage.

Being out on the sand flats when the tide is coming in does give some indication of how many shorebirds are still around but it is definitely not the right place to try for good close photos of any of the birds.

For more photos from around the world visit Our World Tuesday

and for more birds from around the world visit Wild Bird Wednesday.



34 comments:

  1. love the little plovers. all great shorebirds in the blue waters.

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  2. Catching the light on a beautiful Autumn morning .... with lovely captures of these shore-birds especially the double-banded plover.

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  3. Makes a change to have a fine and clear morning, beautiful photos.

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  4. Lovely birds, beautiful water and great captures for the day, Mick! Have a good week!

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  5. A terrific post Mick! Love the beach, the water, the birds and the reflections!

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  6. a lovely set of early morning walk shots. The best time of day.
    Have a wonderufl week.

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  7. Loved the photos. Bring back memories of dawn walks along shore line in Cairns last year. Thanks for the memories. Have a good week.

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  8. Mick, great collection of shorebirds. The Plovers are one of my favorites. The scenery of the cove is beautiful. Great shots!

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  9. great series! Have a great day!

    Shantana

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  10. Beautiful captures of the shorebirds. It looks serene and relaxing!
    Have a good week!

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  11. Nice photos. Happy WBW to you!

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  12. I love shorebirds...in fact your post reminds me of mine, only with better pictures and descriptions! (Really, the comparison points out the difference between professional you and amateur me (birder and/or photographer!).

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  13. The shorebirds are simply delightful! Lovely light on the water, too.

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  14. lovely, the reflection on the water is beautiful.

    we saw lots of migratory shorebirds on the mudflats in Cairns on the way to Japan - might have to check some ID with you! Quite a few SBBs I haven't seen before...

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  15. Sweet...I especially like the one that has its reflection in the pool of water.

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  16. So great to see these shorebirds! I long for some of them to come here :)

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  17. I'm not up on the waders, water-birds, shore-birds ID's ... I'm still learning. I don't see a big range of them often enough to get it in my head yet. Enjoyed each of your photos Mick

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  18. Those are great bird sightings Mick, thank you :)

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  19. this is a cool ooolah place to go...glad the shorebirds are finally coming north. I love the name of your blog and your header pic. cheers.

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  20. A delightful little bunch of birds.
    I think we all like getting closeups but I'm learning to just enjoy the opportunity to experience what I'm seeing.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful finds!

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  21. I love the tides. It is a phenomenon we don´t have. If there is any change to waterlevel it is due to weather.

    Love those shots. :)

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  22. We have similar tidal differences here Mick where if you are out birding at low tide the birds are miles away. Then when the tide is in they are all packed together. The tattlers are smart looking and distinctive birds, especially with those yellow legs.

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  23. Lovely post Mick. I particularly like that first image - full of atmosphere!

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  24. The lighting is so pretty. It makes me long to be walking on that sand snapping shots.

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  25. Hi Mick...Don't you just love watching the shore birds darting to and fro, in and out of the waves as the come ashore with morsels for lunch!!
    Beautiful day and bird shot's !!
    Grace

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  26. What a nice morning you had, with lot of birds. We don't have tide in Sweden.
    Thanks for your comment! Greetings Pia

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  27. The tide is almost as interesting as the birds. I don't think we have anything quite like that here. High tide or low tide, the waves still crash on the shore. We watch the shore birds dodge them.

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  28. I always like to see the pelicans, lovely views.

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  29. I remain conflicted about birds I find in my pictures that I did not recognise as being there in the field!

    But if I found anything really rare all conflict would evaporate!

    nice pictures.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW.

    Stewart M - Melbourne

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  30. I like your sand flats. Nice territory for counting waders.

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  31. Mick, great shots of the tidal flats! I completely empathize about not being able to close to photograph any bird out there!
    We're blessed here that we get the best of both worlds - lots of migratory shorebirds and a healthy resident population.

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